Mercy College’s Egyptian Fulbright Scholar Reflects on Life in New York

“I came here because I wanted to learn but I also wanted to clear up many misconceptions people have about Egyptians, Muslims and the Arab world.”

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I came here because I wanted to learn but I also wanted to clear up many misconceptions people have about Egyptians, Muslims and the Arab world.

Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. (PRWEB) March 08, 2014

While many have been complaining about the snow, Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Hagar Saddiek loves it – can’t get enough of it. This is the first winter the Egypt native has ever experienced. Saddiek arrived in New York in September has become immersed in American culture.

Saddiek said: “I came here because I wanted to learn but I also wanted to clear up many misconceptions people have about Egyptians, Muslims and the Arab world. We don’t drive camels and women are not captive. We are free to do as we wish and travel – clearly I am here.” She said she also wanted to see if America is really the way it is portrayed in the movies and for the most part she said – it is! “Americans are incredibly friendly and very straightforward. I really like that; it is a good way to be. It is also so diverse here, there are people from everywhere. I didn’t realize how many Muslims I would find in New York. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet people from Ukraine, Japan Dominican Republic, Haiti and many other nationalities – it was fascinating. I would never have that opportunity in Egypt.”

What shocked her the most was that there are poor areas of the country. “I was shocked to learn there are homeless people in America.”

Saddiek who teaches academic skills at the German University in Cairo, is teaching Arabic in the School of Liberal Arts at Mercy and taking graduate classes in the School of Education.

Saddiek, lives on campus said assimilating to American culture has been easy. She finds college students have an incredible amount of energy and love music. “They listen to music all the time – even in the shower.” She said with a smile, “I now know all the words to every Eminem song ever written.”

Saddiek, who has been busy going to Broadway shows, said of all the American cities she has seen on both coasts New York has really captivated her. “New York will always have a special place in my heart.”

Mercy College
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five prestigious schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. http://www.mercy.edu/. 877-MERCY-GO.

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  • Catherine Cioffi
    Mercy College
    +1 (914) 674-7736
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